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GLIN==> Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant News: Sound and Bubble Barrier Deters Asian Carp
- Subject: GLIN==> Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant News: Sound and Bubble Barrier Deters Asian Carp
- From: Irene Miles <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005 14:40:43 -0500
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- List-name: GLIN-Announce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2005
Mark Pegg (309)543-6000; email@example.com
After 7/22: (402)472-6824; firstname.lastname@example.org
Phil Moy (920)683-4697; email@example.com
Pat Charlebois (847)872-0140; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sound and Bubble Barrier Deters Asian Carp
Preventing Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes may include an
idea as simple as using tiny bubbles and chirping-like noises. Mark Pegg
and John Chick of the Illinois Natural History Survey found that an
underwater acoustic barrier is effective in deterring these invasive
"The acoustic barrier works with the use of sound projectors and an
air line that generates bubbles," said Pegg. "Typically, sound
is muffled underwater, but bubbles provide a way to amplify the repellant
sound and direct it to a specific area. And, the effervescence is an
additional disturbance to the fish."
With funding from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, the researchers tested
sound-bubble technology in fish raceways where it proved 95 percent
effective in causing bighead and silver carp to turn around. "Since
then we have learned more about what Asian carp actually hear, and we
believe we can get the success rate closer to 100 percent," said
Asian carp pose a threat to the Great Lakes fisheries because they eat
zooplankton, which all fishes typically feed on in their juvenile stages,
and have grown as large as 50 pounds in U.S. waters. They have been
steadily moving up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers towards Lake
Michigan where a temporary electric barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal stands in their way. A permanent electric barrier is under
construction and is likely to be up and running within the next six
Previously, as part of the same project, Chick and Pegg established that
the electric barrier can be successful in stopping Asian carp. Since
then, they found that the acoustic barrier can work effectively on its
own and along with an electric barrier.
"Because the acoustic barrier design is so simple, installation,
operation and maintenance of this system is an affordable option,"
said Pegg. "And since it doesn't require much electricity, during a
power outage an acoustic barrier can easily run off a
Sound-bubble technology was developed by Fish Guidance Systems, Ltd. It
has been used widely to divert fish where their presence is unwanted,
such as hydroelectric plant intake sites. Pegg and Chick's experiments
are the first attempt to use this system in a cross-channel environment,
in other words, where the goal is to cause the fish to turn around.
"The next step," said Phil Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant aquatic
invasive species specialist and chair of the Dispersal Barrier Advisory
Panel, "is to test the acoustic technology on a larger scale in
field trials. If funding becomes available and the technology continues
to prove effective, an acoustic barrier may augment the electric barrier
at its site, or downstream where it can protect the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal as well as the Des Plaines River."
At the Aquatic Invasive Species Summit in 2003, experts from around the
country gathered in Chicago to discuss possible solutions to the movement
of species between the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins. "The
summit participants recommended that we focus on long-term solutions, but
they also felt that we should pursue experimental technologies, such as
acoustic systems, that might help in the interim," said Pat
Charlebois, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant aquatic invasives specialist.
"This technology presents a promising way to boost the efficacy of
the electric barrier."
"Keep in mind, barriers will not prevent people from unintentionally
moving species from one water body to another," added Charleois.
"For example, young Asian carp closely resemble some common wild
caught baitfish, so someone might spread these species without realizing
it," explained Charlebois. "Outreach efforts need to continue
so that people are made aware of the role they can play in preventing the
spread of invasive species."
For more information on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species
visit the Aquatic Nuisance Species Program Web site at
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of more than 30
National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea
Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to
address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is provided by the
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U. S. Department of
Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue
University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
FAX (217) 333-8046